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Posts Tagged ‘adoption process’


We recently had the opportunity to talk with another parent using our adoption agency.  When we adopted our son from China, there was another family in town that had adopted 2 girls from China.  They were associates with our agency.  They were very helpful and accessible.  It was a great blessing to get to know them during the process.

With a different country this time around, things are a bit different.  We don’t have a family like that near us.  Due to some outrageous internet claims, we wanted to talk to someone who had recently returned from the DRC.  The agency referred us to her, and she was on the trip that was the reason for some of the claims.

We thought it would be helpful for others to hear some of what we talked about.  Here is a summary:

Was this your first adoption?

Yes, it was our first adoption.  We ended up going with relatives who had adopted 4 children from Korea.  They started the process a month or so after us, but ended up on the same trip we did.

What motivated you to adopt?

We have 4 biological children, and thought our family was complete.  We felt like this was something we should do.  We didn’t qualify for some countries, and looked at Ethiopia and the Congo.  We felt that the Congo had a greater need.

How did the process compare for your relatives?

My relatives found the dossier for the Congo less work than Korea.  But they found they had to do more leg work on their own this time.  Their other agency filled out some of the paperwork for them.  There seemed to be some duplication.  Some of that was the process changing (she was referring primarily to the DRC changing their process).  We learned you have to be pro-active.

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When we were adopting for the first time we lived in central Florida.  The Department of Homeland Security office in Tampa handled all of central Florida- including 2 major metropolitan areas.  The first time we went, we misread the map and discovered this most of the way to the wrong office.  This office was in downtown Tampa.  Sadly, the office we were supposed to go to was far closer to home.  Sigh.

The office was huge with nearly a dozen biometic scanners for fingerprinting.  I always seemed to get the grumpy employees.  Yes, we had to go back since our fingerprints ‘expired’ right before Amie’s trip to China.  It was pretty much a nightmare.

So we did not know what to expect when we got our appointments last month.  We did discover that they only sent appointment slips for the 2 of us.  The  church member who lives with us also needed to be fingerprinted.  Amie called the customer service # to see what we should do.  She got a real live person in less than an hour!  Apparently, though they took our money for 3 sets of fingerprints, they didn’t actually “open” the file.  The customer service rep said that he could just go with us and there shouldn’t be a problem.

As it turned out, we had one of those weeks.  Utterly insane quite frankly.  We are trying to find affordable insurance that includes Eli who had previously been excluded due to his cleft palate.  The Saturday before our appointment we discovered that a pipe at the church froze and burst.  The kitchen was destroyed and the sanctuary was flooded.  I was working with other church officers on setting up plans for the continuation of ministry as well as repairing the building.  The last thing I needed to do was spend an afternoon hanging around a DHS Support Center.

The Support Center was on the far side of town.  Thankfully not too far from the highway.  It was actually quite underwhelming.  It was significantly smaller than the office in Tampa since it was an auxiliary office.  The main office was in Phoenix.  There were precisely 2 machines, and one person who was scanning prints.

However, the manager needed a number, and without an appointment she wasn’t sure what to do with our friend.  Unlike Amie, she was not able to get a real, live person on the line.  She wasn’t sure what to do.  But she was flexible, focused on customer service (what a relief after some of our discussions with local government officials who forgot they are public SERVANTS).  She figured that the worst that could happen is that he’d have to come back.

In and out, with the administrative hassles in less than an hour.  Yes!  This was great because I’d not slept the previous 2 nights and I was utterly brain dead.  I suspect that if I hadn’t brought a book, we might still be there.

So we return to the waiting game.  Once/if USCIS approves our application, we will then send in our dossier to the DRC, and wait.

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